Let us agree on one thing. Movies marketing can sometimes miss the mark by assuming men love action, and women love romance - without compromise. Romantic comedies are targeted toward women, and action movies to men. The reasons behind this has no basis in reality. There are men who love romantic comedies just as there are women who love action and superhero movies. One movie women love that is currently in theaters is Deadpool. In a recent interview on moviemaniacsDE YouTube channel, Ryan Reynolds, commented on the popularity of his movie and characters among women:
Women love fucking superhero movies! Clearly they go to these movies. It's sort of funny that studios are sort of the last to know that... I think the action and the humor is what appeals to women, you know, the same thing.
This should come as no surprise to anyone. Human beings are, after all, complex creatures and what we like (or dislike) is in no way dictated by our genitals. Reynolds' comments could not come at a better time considering the film industry has come under fire for its portrayal of women.
One mistake studios generally make is thinking that the public does not want complex and strong female characters. If recent films have anything to say, that thinking is wrong. Recent movies like Star Wars: The Force Awakens and Reynold's own Deadpool both feature some kick-ass heroines.
Ok, to be fair, both of the above films are very different. One features a female lead while the other does not. If you look at it from a feminist angle, while Deadpool does feature strong female characters, it does not exactly pass the Bechdel test. This, of course, does not mean that women would not like a superhero movie because they are female. The genre is, after all, great.
As we look to the future, there are reasons to be optimistic. Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice promises to include Wonder Woman. While we have no idea what role she will play in this upcoming film, she is seen saving Batman (and possibly Superman) in some of the trailers. This falls in line with the character's comic book history where she comes to a male's rescue rather than being saved by him; the golden age character, originally created by William Marston, often saved Steve Trevor.
While The Force Awakens has been a phenomenal success, we have reasons to be cautious about Dawn of Justice. With the planned introduction of the Justice League, Batman vs Superman may be doing too much, too soon, and may ultimately fail for the same reason The Amazing Spider-Man 2 did; the inclusion of too many villains saturated and eventually diluted much of the show's focus.
There is no doubt that Batman vs Superman will shake up the DC Cinematic Universe. That much we can assume but a failure, either to get the critical acclaim or financial success the film needs, will affect DC's future film lineup. Given that Wonder Woman is one of the movies on DC's lineup, the success or failure will affect how the movie is made, as well as how the character is portrayed.
This does not mean that Batman vs Superman's failure will doom superhero films that feature females in lead roles. If anything, recent successes have shown there is a demand for these types of films and money talks! In addition to Wonder Woman appearing in her own movie after Batman vs Superman, there is a huge demand for Marvel to make a Black Widow movie. It may take some time to get there but we will.